With a delicate orange flavor and tender texture, this single layer orange almond torte is easy to make. No frosting needed, maybe just a light dusting of powered sugar to finish. It can even be made a day ahead which is always a good thing.
Orange Almond Cake (or Torte)
Its is easy to forget that citrus is really a winter crop. With friends coming for dinner who love cake for dessert and my navel orange tree full of fruit, I turned to an old favorite recipe – Orange Almond Torte. The original recipe is from the February 1995 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. I can’t believe I’ve been making it for so many years.
What is a Torte?
A torte is like a cake except it is made with a combination of ground nuts and little to no flour – different than a traditional cake recipe using all flour. Tortes are often rich cakes layered with whipped cream, buttercream frosting or even jam.
This recipe is a simple torte. One single delicious layer, which also makes it easy to make. No sugary frosting required or layers to deal with. It’s beautiful all by itself. It is not overly sweet or rich, just the way to elegantly end a dinner. Because it is not super sweet, it works well as a tea cake, or even an indulgent holiday breakfast served with fresh orange segments, like a coffee cake.
To reduce the sugar, use half granular stevia and half natural organic sugar, so 6 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of granular stevia, as stevia is much sweeter than sugar. For a good gluten-free flour blend try Bobs Red Mill or Jovial Whole Grain Pastry Flour.
To serve, simply dust with just a dusting of powdered sugar and maybe a few fresh orange segments on the side. The original recipe has a a terrific orange sauce. Check out the recipe here. The sauce can be made a day ahead.
Grind Nuts in a Food Processor
I grind my almonds in a food processor, although I’ve used what is called almond flour – pure, finely ground almonds. With almonds, any nuts or nut flour, keep them stored in the refrigerator or freezer for freshness. Stale or rancid nuts will spoil whatever you are making.
Hand mixer: As this recipe is for a single layer cake, the recipe makes a smaller amount of batter than a traditional double layer cake recipe so it is easily made with a hand mixer.
Springform pan: You will need an 8″ springform pan. Springforms are a great addition to your kitchen tool collection. Get one that seals tight with the bottom. Once baked and cooled, release the spring and cakes are easy to unfold. Find them at cooking stores and place like Bed Bath and Beyond. Here is one on Amazon.
Parchment paper: Baking parchment can be purchased in any grocery store. Find it in the aisle next to the foil and plastic film. That is the heavier style. You can also buy precut rounds and sheets of lighter weight parchment paper at cooking stores and online. Either work for this torte.
Fine sieve: For dusting the finished cake with powdered sugar, use a small, fine mesh sieve. Place the sugar in the sieve and shake it across the top of the cake. You can hit it against the side of your hand to get it to sprinkle.
Orange Almond Torte
- 1 cup raw almonds 6 ounces, ground
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature 1 stick
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar see note below to reduce sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup + 1 T gluten-free flour blend
- 2 tablespoons orange juice fresh squeezed
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature
- Powdered sugar for top of cake optional
- 8 inch springform pan
- Baking parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8-inch springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment (or use the pre-cut rounds which are handy to have on hand) to fit inside and line the bottom of pan. Butter parchment; dust with flour.
- Beat 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add egg, then yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in almonds, flour, orange juice, zest, coriander and salt, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
- Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Stiff whites will hold a tip straight up when you turn your beaters upside down. Gently fold whites into batter in 2 additions with a flexible spatula. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake cake until top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. To be safe, check early as ovens vary. Cool cake in pan on rack.